- At least one person has died in the eruption of the Semeru volcano on the Indonesian island of Java.
- And the authorities announced that 41 others suffered burns.
- Two people are still missing, and eight miners are trapped in a quarry.
Local television stations showed videos of people screaming and fleeing from a thick cloud of smoke from Semeru volcano, blacking out the surrounding villages. The chief of national disaster control said deploying rescuers was made more difficult by the thick mud and the collapse of a large bridge between two districts. “The mud is so thick that even four-wheel drive vehicles can barely cross,” he said.
The volcano with a height of about 3,700 meters is the highest mountain in Java and is located in Bromo-Tengir-Semeru National Park in the east of the most populous island in Indonesia. It has been increasingly active again since December 2020. The head of Lumagang district, Thorikul-ul-Haq, said a thunder was heard from the volcano since Friday. “Now it’s dark in the villages,” he told Kompass TV.
Glowing lava flowed up to 800 meters from the edge of the crater, the National Civil Protection announced. Its spokesperson warned against approaching the river there because the muddy currents from the volcano, called lahars, can cause flooding.
Indonesia is located on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire. The island nation of about 275 million has nearly 128 active volcanoes. This year, Merapi in Java, Sinabung in Sumatra and Leutulu in Limbata have already erupted.
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